Logo of nature.ca - Canadian Museum of Nature.
Logo of Natural History Notebooks.
 
Button: Home. Button: Resources. Button: Notebooks A-Z.
Button: Français.
Home > Mammals > Hippopotamus Next
Text: Mammals.
   
Hippopotamus
Photo: Hippopotamus, Hippopotamus amphibius.
Hippopotamus, Hippopotamus amphibius
More Images »

Where are they found? Africa

Map of the world.


Once numerous in all African rivers and streams with deep water, the hippopotamus is now largely restricted to parks and wildlife refuges. This huge animal averages between 1.1 and 2 t (1.2 to 2.2 tn.) and can weigh as much as 4.5 t (5 tn.).

The body of a hippopotamus is so sparsely covered by hair that it appears naked. In its skin are pores which exude droplets of moisture that contain red pigment; as light is reflected through these droplets they appear red. This extrude is a natural sunscreen, and helps to keep the skin moist when out of the water.

The hippopotamus is perfectly at home in the water, mating and giving birth there. Due to its specific gravity, it can submerge itself completely and walk on the bottom of the river. It comes up on land for about five hours every night to feed on grasses and crops. The hippopotamus is most dangerous when it feels cut off from the relative safety of its watery environment.


More Images
Photo: Hippopotamus, Hippopotamus amphibius. Photo: Hippopotamus, Hippopotamus amphibius. Photo: Hippopotamus, Hippopotamus amphibius. Photo: Hippopotamus, Hippopotamus amphibius. Photo: Hippopotamus, Hippopotamus amphibius. Photo: Hippopotamus, Hippopotamus amphibius. Photo: Hippopotamus, Hippopotamus amphibius. Photo: Hippopotamus, Hippopotamus amphibius. Photo: Hippopotamus, Hippopotamus amphibius. Photo: Hippopotamus, Hippopotamus amphibius.


Looking for photos?

The Canadian Museum of Nature has thousands of unique images reflecting the diversity of the natural world—including the photos and illustrations here in our Natural History NotebooksContact us to learn more!


To cite this page for personal use:
“Hippopotamus”. [Online]. Natural History Notebooks. Canadian Museum of Nature.
Last updated (Web site consulted

Previous
Button: Mammals. Photo: Lion (Panthera leo). Button: Birds. Photo: Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos).
Button: Fish. Photo: Brown trout (Salmo trutta). Button: Reptiles. Photo: Komodo dragon (Varanus komodensis).
Button: Amphibians. Photo: Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeiana). Button: Invertebrates. Photo: House fly (Musca domestica).
Button: Dinosaurs. Illustration: Tyrannosaurus rex. Archive slide: S71-116. Button: Prehistoric. Illustration: Muskox (Ovibos moschatus).
Button: Navigate the World. Illustration: Map of the world.
 
Text: Play the games and interactives from our Mammal Gallery. Logo: Mammal Gallery.

Reproduction Rights    Credits    Explore Nature!    Comments or Questions?

Next Previous Next Previous